Binomial transform


In combinatorics, the binomial transform is a sequence transformation (i.e., a transform of a sequence) that computes its forward differences. It is closely related to the Euler transform, which is the result of applying the binomial transform to the sequence associated with its ordinary generating function.


The binomial transform, T, of a sequence, {an}, is the sequence {sn} defined by


Formally, one may write


for the transformation, where T is an infinite-dimensional operator with matrix elements Tnk. The transform is an involution, that is,


or, using index notation,


where   is the Kronecker delta. The original series can be regained by


The binomial transform of a sequence is just the nth forward differences of the sequence, with odd differences carrying a negative sign, namely:


where Δ is the forward difference operator.

Some authors define the binomial transform with an extra sign, so that it is not self-inverse:


whose inverse is


In this case the former transform is called the inverse binomial transform, and the latter is just binomial transform. This is standard usage for example in On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.


Both versions of the binomial transform appear in difference tables. Consider the following difference table:

0   1   10   63   324   1485
  1   9   53   261   1161
    8   44   208   900
      36   164   692
        128   528

Each line is the difference of the previous line. (The n-th number in the m-th line is am,n = 3n−2(2m+1n2 + 2m(1+6m)n + 2m-19m2), and the difference equation am+1,n = am,n+1 - am,n holds.)

The top line read from left to right is {an} = 0, 1, 10, 63, 324, 1485, ... The diagonal with the same starting point 0 is {tn} = 0, 1, 8, 36, 128, 400, ... {tn} is the noninvolutive binomial transform of {an}.

The top line read from right to left is {bn} = 1485, 324, 63, 10, 1, 0, ... The cross-diagonal with the same starting point 1485 is {sn} = 1485, 1161, 900, 692, 528, 400, ... {sn} is the involutive binomial transform of {bn}.

Ordinary generating functionEdit

The transform connects the generating functions associated with the series. For the ordinary generating function, let






Euler transformEdit

The relationship between the ordinary generating functions is sometimes called the Euler transform. It commonly makes its appearance in one of two different ways. In one form, it is used to accelerate the convergence of an alternating series. That is, one has the identity


which is obtained by substituting x = 1/2 into the last formula above. The terms on the right hand side typically become much smaller, much more rapidly, thus allowing rapid numerical summation.

The Euler transform can be generalized (Borisov B. and Shkodrov V., 2007):


where p = 0, 1, 2,…

The Euler transform is also frequently applied to the Euler hypergeometric integral  . Here, the Euler transform takes the form:


The binomial transform, and its variation as the Euler transform, is notable for its connection to the continued fraction representation of a number. Let   have the continued fraction representation






Exponential generating functionEdit

For the exponential generating function, let






The Borel transform will convert the ordinary generating function to the exponential generating function.

Integral representationEdit

When the sequence can be interpolated by a complex analytic function, then the binomial transform of the sequence can be represented by means of a Nörlund–Rice integral on the interpolating function.


Prodinger gives a related, modular-like transformation: letting




where U and B are the ordinary generating functions associated with the series   and  , respectively.

The rising k-binomial transform is sometimes defined as


The falling k-binomial transform is


Both are homomorphisms of the kernel of the Hankel transform of a series.

In the case where the binomial transform is defined as


Let this be equal to the function  

If a new forward difference table is made and the first elements from each row of this table are taken to form a new sequence  , then the second binomial transform of the original sequence is,


If the same process is repeated k times, then it follows that,


Its inverse is,


This can be generalized as,


where   is the shift operator.

Its inverse is


See alsoEdit


  • John H. Conway and Richard K. Guy, 1996, The Book of Numbers
  • Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming Vol. 3, (1973) Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
  • Helmut Prodinger, 1992, Some information about the Binomial transform
  • Michael Z. Spivey and Laura L. Steil, 2006, The k-Binomial Transforms and the Hankel Transform
  • Borisov B. and Shkodrov V., 2007, Divergent Series in the Generalized Binomial Transform, Adv. Stud. Cont. Math., 14 (1): 77-82
  • Khristo N. Boyadzhiev, Notes on the Binomial Transform, Theory and Table, with Appendix on the Stirling Transform (2018), World Scientific.

External linksEdit

  • Binomial Transform
  • Transformations of Integer Sequences